The Hong Kong pro-democracy movement's overwhelming Nov. 24 election victory demonstrates that the city's brave citizens disdain Mao Zedong's political ditties almost as much as they scorn the crooked Chinese Communist Party tyranny the mass-murdering former chairman created.
Mao, who fancied himself a poet and philosopher, declared that political power grows from the barrel of a gun. From the Soviet Kremlin to the University of California, Berkeley to Jane Fonda, the global left waved Mao's Little Red Book, applauded his so-called "thoughts" and proclaimed radical Marxism to be humanity's future.
Hong Kong's 2019 protests and the recent district election results are actions — deeds, not words — that directly challenge Mao's gun barrel maxim and lay claim to a future where political power expresses the will of free people.
In the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, political power comes from ballots cast by adult citizens participating in an honest, open election.
Unfortunately, "ballots versus gun barrels" isn't just an epigram. At the moment, Hong Kong is the only place in mainland China where honest elections express a free citizenry's political will (judgment). Within the communist People's Republic of China, the communist Politburo whim rules, with the whim of President Xi Jingping being the big one.
Object to Xi's whim and the secret police arrest you at 3 a.m.
OK, you're part of the "go along, get along" hoi polloi. You, the sheep, face Oppression by Algorithm — otherwise known as the Social Credit System.
Call the rating system Red Fascistbook and you totally nail. Chicom social raters collect data on a particular person — they tap cellphones; peruse public video cameras; scrutinize internet activity and travel logs; and, like East Germany's notorious Stasi, seek the opinion of gossipy, nosey, "arrest them, not me" neighbors. Algorithms supplemented by anal security types analyze an individual suspect's data, looking for criminal patterns or — get ready — signs of anti-government behavior.
Hong Kong's freedom-informed citizens reject prison states. They know that mainland Chinese beyond Hong Kong confront a totalitarian hell.
As I write this column, Beijing has gun barrels galore on Hong Kong's border and within the city.
How many divisions of the People's Armed Police, or PAP, has Beijing deployed near Hong Kong? In August, photos suggested at least one mechanized PAP division, perhaps two, were northwest of Hong Kong. The PAP does Beijing's dirty work, like oppressing Uighurs in the Xinjiang province. In 2012, StrategyPage.com called the PAP a force the Communist Party uses to defeat "enemies within China."
In 1989, the People's Liberation Army, or PLA, murdered some 2,000 pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Several thousand PLA soldiers have garrisoned Hong Kong since the 1997 takeover from Britain. Until this year, their gun barrels rarely left the barracks. In mid-November, however, the rare occurred when PLA soldiers participated in a "voluntary" street-cleaning project.
Some gun barrels have no uniforms. Pro-democracy activists accuse Beijing intelligence agency provocateurs of having incited violent acts in the city and then blamed demonstrators. "False flag" violence is definitely an old communist and Nazi tactic.
Gun barrels deployed around and within Hong Kong mean Nov. 24's political victory is one battle in a difficult war.
Nevertheless, what a stunning victory and an embarrassment for Beijing. Turnout was 71% — most impressive. The pro-democracy candidates won around 90% of the vote for the 452 contested seats on Hong Kong's 18 district councils. A late report gave the freedom fighters 389 seats and the Beijing faction about 60. The freedom fighters now control 17 districts. What a wipeout.
Several sources report the pro-Beijing faction is sometimes called "the establishment."
Scan the headlines. The "establishments" corrupting some three dozen countries on planet Earth are grappling with mass public dissatisfaction — and the U.S. is on that list.
Perhaps we should reprise a Cold War-era communist propaganda trope and apply it with acid irony to the Beijing nabobs who would trade Hong Kong's freedom for a high personal social credit rating.
Call them the "running dog-lackey-nabobs of the Chinese Communist Party imperialist elites." Too wordy, perhaps — but accurate. And "nabob" is le mot juste.
To find out more about Austin Bay and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.